July 30, 2011

Medium of Exchange


"This is a participatory installation – visitors may write directly upon
the blackboard with the provided chalk in order to 'decipher' the bisected text.

Visitors who decipher words and sentences become 'active participants' in the completion of the artwork and their participation is an 'exchange' of labor. Thus, active participants exchange their labor for a share of possible future profits when the artwork is sold. Active participants may document their exchange by writing their name and email address on a clipboard provided by gallery staff.

The 'exchange value' of this artwork is a 'square footage' price of $256 based on the artist’s previous sales average of three sales in three consecutive years. At 32 sq. feet, 'Untitled participatory installation #4' is valued at $8,190."


I visited the "Medium of Exchange" show this week to document my work and was pleased to see that it is almost "completed." As I specified in my statement above, visitors that contribute their "labor" to "Untitled participatory installation #4" become "active participants" and potential "shareholders" in the sale of this particular piece. Given that there are few un-deciphered words left, as well as seven obvious "errors" that might be corrected, this is the "Final Chance" for those interested readers of this site to become participants by visiting the site and contributing to the work; the show closes on August 6, 2011.

From the Curatorial Statement by Anthony Cervino and Shannon Egan:
"Boyd’s viewer is also requested to 'write into' the work, not necessarily to give feedback, but rather to become an active shareholder in the work’s value. He specifically invites the viewer to 'decipher' the partially obscured text that appears on the chalkboard. One must pick up a piece of chalk provided, make sense of the implied language and fill in the missing shapes of each letter. Because the viewer becomes a participant in the completion of the work, Boyd is willing to pay the viewer for his or her labor. If the work is sold, the viewers who participated in the piece and provided contact information to the gallery staff will receive a share of the $8190 price. The viewer’s 'job' is not simply to look, but to read, comprehend and write, in an act that is equivalent to the artist’s position, the shareholder’s stake and the work’s own worth."

Image: "Untitled participatory action #4" (2011); blackboard paint, chalk, pencil on MDF; H48xW98; installation view on July 28, 2011.

© Copyright 2011 by Mark Cameron Boyd. All rights reserved.
Reproduction of artwork or text without permission is prohibited.

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